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Feedback Loops Time Normal (Essay Sample)


Module 5 - Case

Case: System Feedback Loops, SLP: Time Normal

Assignment Overview




Let's wrap up this project.

So far, ABC Company and Whole Foods Market like what we've been doing. I have this last project, which involves analyzing Whole Foods Market's feedback loops and organizational learning opportunities.

I want you to take a look at the feedback loops in Whole Foods Market.


Refer to the background reading on System Feedback Loops.

Case Assignment

Identify one Balancing Loop and one Reinforcing Loop. These feedback loops should be critical to Whole Foods Market's performance and success. You should have a good idea of what these are from your previous analysis.

Explain each one of these loops - what are the causal factors and how do they affect each other. For the Reinforcing Loop, look for an area where there is growth. For the Balancing Loop, look for goal behavior. Once you have identified and explained these critical feedback loops, identify how Whole Foods Market has generated organizational learning, and how they can go further and generate additional organizational learning. What do they need to do to improve their performance further?

Be sure to include references. Turn in the 5- to 6-page paper by the end of the module.


This is what you need to do:

  1. Determine the two critical feedback loops. Describe each Feedback Loop that you identify in your organization and explain why you selected them. Make sure you explain the Loop, the cause and effect process within the Loop. You could also include a Causal Loop Diagram. If you do, show the arrows and direction of effect (+ or -). Also, determine what the warrant is for your case.
  2. Briefly discuss the theory of organizational learning so that you provide a summary of this information to the executives - establish this as common ground.
  3. Identify the learning activities in each feedback loop that Whole Foods Market has already undertaken.
  4. Identify the opportunities for organizational learning in each Feedback Loop. Make a Case that these are learning opportunities. Logically show how the feedback process provides an opportunity for the organization to learn and improve its performance. Be precise. Depth and breadth in your discussion is always a good thing.

Assignment Expectations

Your paper will be evaluated on the following seven points:

  • Precision - Does the paper address the question(s) or task(s)?
  • Breadth - Is the full breadth of the subject, that is, the Keys to the Assignment, addressed?
  • Depth - Does the paper address the topic in sufficient depth and include the background reading and other background resources as references?
  • Critical thinking - Is the subject thought about critically, that is, accurately, logically, relevantly, and precisely?
  • Clarity - Is the writing clear and are the concepts articulated properly? Are paraphrasing and synthesis of concepts the primary means of responding to the questions or are points conveyed through excessive use of quotations?
  • Organization - Is the paper well written? Are the grammar, spelling, and vocabulary appropriate for graduate-level work? Are headings included in all papers longer than two pages?
  • Referencing (citations and references) - Does the paper include citations and quotation marks where appropriate? Are the references from the background reading and assignment present and properly cited? Are all the references listed in the bibliography present and referred to via citation?


  • You may use a simple diagram to highlight important factors. However, do not use the diagram in lieu of valuable analysis (or to take up valuable writing space) - it should be in addition to your paper of 5-6 pages of analysis.
  • Just because you have written the minimum five pages does not mean that you have adequately covered the topic. Err on the side of writing more rather than less.
  • Choose the data you use carefully. Is it relevant and important?
  • Include a cover page and reference page, in addition to the 5-6 pages of analysis described above.
  • Include headings within the paper.
  • Cite and reference all sources that you use in your work, including those that you paraphrase. This means include citations and quotation marks for direct quotes of more than five words, and citations for that information which you have "borrowed" or paraphrased from other sources.
  • Follow TUI Guidelines for well-written papers.

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The systems model highlights on the interdependence of various elements in an organization, and the approach also focuses on the causal relationships between various elements. In order to deal with various actions that influence the organization, there is a need to understand how behavior feedback affects the organization as a system. Feedback loops are necessary to enhance learning in every organization, when there is transfer of knowledge from one member to the other and this influence organizational behavior. For the feedback loop members typically communicate more often, but this element is separate from the decision-making component. At the same time loops provide updated information while members identify opportunities and needs. An explanation of one balancing loop, reinforcing loop as is related to Whole food Market as well as the growth potential for the company as illustrated by the reinforcing loop and goals in the balancing loop. The paper will also highlight the concept of organizational learning as related to Whole Food Market.
Systems feedback loops
The system model consists of the Balancing (negative) and the Reinforcing (positive) loops that identify how goals and growth of an organization are related (Morecroft, 2013). The idea behind the feedback loops is to identify the causal relationships in the systems that are represented by the feedback loops. The causal relationships resulting from loops can either be negative or positive. Negative relationships exist when one phenomenon increase and results in decrease of another element, while in positive relationships, the increase in one phenomenon has a resultant increase in another component. The loop can have more than one causal relationship for the phenomena in a chain link.
Balancing and the Reinforcing loops
In the balancing loop the effect of change in a condition results in balancing change if the effects are traced to a loop. The cause and effect relationship counters the changes, but the balancing loop then results in stability On the other hand, the reinforcing loop merely amplifies the change, and the reinforcement in turn builds momentum. Organizations are typically multi-loop systems, and there is interplay between the balancing and the feedback loops (Morecroft, 2013). As such, when establishing the causal relationships, there is a need to identify the main loops. Systems analysis provides a clearer picture of the interplay of the different organization dynamics, with organizational learning an important element to improving organizational performance.
Feedback loops for Whole Foods Market
Whole Foods Market is the leader in the supply of fresh and organic foods in America, and is also a major player in the U.K and Canadian markets. All the company’s suppliers are obligated to observe the highest safety standard, with the company then dealing in high-quality natural products. The employees are expected to share the company’s vision to make it easier to meet customer needs. Even as the company strategies on operating in other areas, it emphasizes on the need for a sustainable environment (Whole Foods Market, 2015). This is in line with the need to empower the communities, without neglecting to integrate healthy eating and living.
Reinforcing loop

The reinforcing loop in the company is based on maintaining the quality of the company’s natural foods and other products in order to achieve this. The company also supports sustainable agriculture, through identifying and buying from farmers who grow organic foods. This provides an incentive to organic farmers to be more efficient in their production, by focusing on both food quality and profit maximization. Whole Foods Market has a repu...
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